Thursday, May 18, 2006

A trilogy of time-wasters

In ascending levels of nerdosity.

1. http://www.jitterbug.com/origins/index.html

This site is pretty darn interesting. It traces the influences of literature, film, and myth on Star Wars. And it has some cool observations. For example,

Studying lightsabers taught me two important things: One, a "magic item" in a fairytale is just like a character: they're interesting in direct proportion to the number the "archetypal masks" they wear. That's why Luke's lightsaber is such a memorable part of the original trilogy: it's a gift from his mentor, who passed it along from his father, which Luke uses to fight his father, which his father destroys, so he builds a new one, which he ultimately refuses to use against his father. These are all important mythic steps, and each one infuses the saber with more "mythic power." In The Phantom Menace lightsabers are beautifully depicted but serve fewer mythic roles, making them less narratively interesting.

2.
The previous site led me to this one: http://www.starwarz.com/starkiller/scripts.htm

It has original story drafts and script versions from back in the day, when Annakin Starkiller walked into a bar on the planet Utapau. Check out the illustrated second draft of the ANH script; clearly, Lucas was a genius not only at distilling mythic and filmic influences but also at rendering his sprawling script into a tightly-constructed movie.

"Was a genius" being the operative phrase...

3. Finally, when nothing else will do, when you just have to know what those biplane fighters in the Jedi vs. Sith comics were (Buzzards), or you want to sort through all 18 flavors of Star Destroyers or 191 classes of capital ships, or perhaps just contemplate the ineffable mysteries of the Star Wars universe, like the awesomely perverted-sounding Secret Tales of Luke's Hand, or how Aayla Secura got to be so friggin' hot, there is only one source to turn to: Wookiepedia. I literally spent an entire day just poking around there, and I barely scratched the surface. Please be careful.

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